Rapid test kits in high demand in New Brunswick
It was a different scene on Monday morning in Moncton at one of the test kit pick-up sites as dozens lined up to get their hands on a free rapid-test kit.
Some people in line decided to wait until Monday to pick up a test, as Saturday's turn out in Moncton led to hour-long waits and kilometer-long stretches of traffic.
Approximately 4,500 kits were handed out in Moncton on Saturday within five hours, which forced the participating sites to close early. Due of the high demand, New Brunswick Public Health said it has doubled the number of kits this week to help keep up with the demand.
Monday was the first day that rapid-test kits were made available to the public, not only in circuit-breaker zones but across the entire province. Each person gets one COVID-19 rapid-test kit which has five tests within it.
Public health said that now all pickup centres will be open during their scheduled hours or until the daily supply has given out.
The president of the New Brunswick Medical Society Dr. Mark MacMillan said, "It's just one more tool in our tool kit against COVID-19."
The home tests are only for those who are asymptomatic and for those who have not tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
"Rapid testing is ongoing monitoring. So it's a snapshot in time," said MacMillan. "You're negative at that point, so you know you're safe to go out and do something. If you want to meet with a friend for dinner that sort of gives you that peace of mind that you're safe in the moment."
Liberal opposition leader Roger Melanson says he would've liked to see the province provide rapid tests to the public sooner.
"The rapid testing should've happened way earlier. We do know there were kits available over the summer for chambers of commerce," said Melanson.
Public health is advising anyone with a positive test result from a rapid test, to register for a PCR COVID-19 lab tests on the GNB website.
Rapid tests are expected to be handed out at pick-up sites across the province for the rest of the week.